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News: ZK 1.0, AJAX framework without Javascript, released

  1. Potix has released ZK 1.0, an AJAX-based event driven engine including XUL and XHTML components and a markup language, intended to facilitate rich client interfaces without the need for programming in Javascript, and licensed under the GPL.

    ZK consists of a set of servlets and filters in a web application, along with user-provided ".zul" files. The XUL files provide UI components such as lists, windows, modal dialogs, buttons, and other common ones such as sliders, etc., and provide a mechanism by which such components can be manipulated and responded to both on the client side and the server side.

    Resources:

    Threaded Messages (35)

  2. Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    XUL for generating pure HTML/AJAX.
    Great!

    It's a pity that it is GPG,
    we cannot use it in our OpenXava LGPL project.


    Javier Paniza
  3. Not XHTML-compliant[ Go to top ]

    The html markup contains all kinds of invalid attributes like zk_type.
  4. RE: Not XHTML-compliant[ Go to top ]

    You are welcome to post this to Feature Requests. Thanks.
  5. Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    Hi, I'm the author of AutoAssist, it's a nice ajax auto complete widget like google suggest.

    A simple usage will be looks like this:

    var foo = function() {
        var tt = new AutoAssist("t", {setRequestOptions: function() {
                var pars = "name=" + this.txtBox.value;
                return { url: "/country.php", parameters: pars };
            }});
    }
    Event.observe(window, "load", foo);


    Dear open source authors, if you are interested in integrate AutoAssist into your project, I am willing to help.

    my email is: chenggn # capxous.com
    XUL for generating pure HTML/AJAX.Great!It's a pity that it is GPG, we cannot use it in our OpenXava LGPL project.Javier Paniza
  6. RE: Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    Any OSS project is entitled to use ZK.
  7. RE: Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    Any OSS project is entitled to use ZK.

    Entitled to? Perhaps.

    Allowed to? Nope.

    Just for one example, Apache Software Foundation projects are not allowed to depend on GPL-licensed libraries, because the GPL license imposes restrictions above and beyond what the Apache Software License requires, and those constraints are considered unacceptable to Apache developers. You will find similar, but different, issues with GPL coming from commercial software providers who might wish to build software dependent on this framework, but are prohibited by a conflict between these license terms and their own requirements.

    Please don't get me wrong here. This is *your* project, and you can license it any way you please. It is entirely reasonable to buy into the GPL's purposes. Just be aware that any choice of any particular license may cause a reduction in the potential market for your project's deliverables. If that's fine with you, then it's fine with me (although I won't bother even looking at your project *because* of the license).

    Craig McClanahan
  8. Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    They allow dual license:
    http://zk1.sourceforge.net/license/duallic.html
  9. Great! but GPL[ Go to top ]

    They allow dual license:http://zk1.sourceforge.net/license/duallic.html

    Yep ... GPL and commercial :-)

    Craig
  10. slow? escaped HTML?[ Go to top ]

    Looks pretty cool. I like the idea of using Java in the zscript.

    The demo was pretty slow for me even though I''ve got a cable modem. On a reasonably fast Windows laptop in FireFox it was kind of slow. Same machine with IE was slower. And on my 1.25 GHz eMac... I'm still watching the loading spinner thing... still watching.... still...

    Is slow normal? Does everyone see the same ass me? Is is becaue of the server? ... TSS effect?

    Also I didn't see any column-sortable table demo. That's one my boss would want to see :)

    still watching the loading ....

    And I noticed the HTML demo source had a lot of escaped characters. Is that because of XUL or what? (I've never used XUL, slap me.)

    loading ... loading ... loading...

    I agree the GPL issue is unfortunate too. That alone would probably block me using ZK.

    ... loading ... Is Mac OS X Safari supported?

    But really. This is cool stuff! Thanks!
    ,boz
  11. RE: slow? escaped HTML?[ Go to top ]

    The demo site is hosted virtually with many other websites :(

    Please download it and try it on your machine. The installation is quick simple.
  12. AJAX Toolkit Framework[ Go to top ]

    Here is an alternative to ZK 1.0, AJAX framework

    AJAX Toolkit Framework
  13. AJAX Toolkit Framework[ Go to top ]

    Looks very nice. Noticed one demo absent from the group was something that displayed tabular data with sorting, etc.

    Also, I suspect, like others, that a project of this nature will have a hard time gaining real traction among developers while it remains GPL.

    Mike
  14. AJAX Toolkit Framework[ Go to top ]

    Checkout
    http://sourceforge.net/forum/forum.php?thread_id=1414804&forum_id=510208

    for discussion on the licensing issues. I think they are going to address this soon.
  15. Swing + XUL Toolkit Framework[ Go to top ]

    A good Swing+XUL WebStart-able framework is SwiXAT
    I think it is a good alternative to AJAX for RIAs.
  16. Oops[ Go to top ]

    The demo server has died (OOM) due to the ServerSide Effect!

    Pretty slow - too slow to consider even if it was not GPL.
  17. Indeed the ServerSide effect![ Go to top ]

    Virtual hosting is not a good idea for handling such burst of requests. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  18. Current desktop UI development choices :

    a) XUL and XUL Runner are too Mozilla specific and too closely tied to Mozilla/Firefox.
    status: new-born


    2) Swing/SWT -- I just do not have the patience to deal with this. And the UI designers hate it with equal passion
    status: DOA

    3) Flash -- most sensible people disable it on their browser.
    status: useless for most developers

    4) Other AJAX aspirants :
     
    status : doomed by JavaScript


    This is a sad state of affairs !!
  19. Flash -- most sensible people disable it on their browser.status: useless for most developers

    I'm curious as to the reasoning behind this comment. According to most statistics I've seen 98% of PC's world wide have Flash installed and enabled on them. Seems like a pretty ubiquitous platform for desktop UI development to me.

    -James
  20. Flash -- most sensible people disable it on their browser.status: useless for most developers
    I'm curious as to the reasoning behind this comment. According to most statistics I've seen 98% of PC's world wide have Flash installed and enabled on them. Seems like a pretty ubiquitous platform for desktop UI development to me.-James

    I am not disputing your statistics; however I am challenging the implication you are drawing from these numbers. Yes Flash is ubiquitous -- but that does not make it a ubiquitous platform desktop UI development.

    There is only one commercial IDE and one OS toolkit supporting Flash+Server-Side development. It does not seem that there are many OS projects on
    sourceforge using Flash. I do not recall any online application using Flash.



    Regards
  21. There is only one commercial IDE and one OS toolkit supporting Flash+Server-Side development. It does not seem that there are many OS projects on sourceforge using Flash. I do not recall any online application using Flash.Regards

    Well, hopefully it will please you to know that:
     - There is Flex which now offers the SDK for free, has a commercial IDE (Eclipse plugin), and server side services
     - There is also the open source Laszlo project which I think has an eclipse plugin IDE
     - There are numerous other open source Flash related projects at osflash.org and SourceForge
     - There are many, many publicly available Flash & Flex based application live in production today including:
    Yahoo Maps Beta
    Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer
    And many more

    -James
  22. I am not disputing your statistics; however I am challenging the implication you are drawing from these numbers. Yes Flash is ubiquitous -- but that does not make it a ubiquitous platform desktop UI development.

    There is only one commercial IDE and one OS toolkit supporting Flash+Server-Side development. It does not seem that there are many OS projects on
    sourceforge using Flash. I do not recall any online application using Flash.

    That is true. The open source flash toolkits are fairly immature (at least the ones I've seen over at http://osflash.org). The good news is that Adobe will be releasing their command line tools and libraries for free. The Eclipse plugin will cost - but supposedly they're playing around with new tiered pricing strategies to get more developer interest.

    Frankly, Java is dead on the client as far as I'm concerned and AJAX has known limitations. I see the only competitor to XAML being Flash in the real RIA space. Maybe Adobe saw that too in their acquisition of Macromedia.
  23. <That is true. The open source flash toolkits are fairly immature (at least the ones I've seen over at http://osflash.org). The good news is that Adobe will be releasing their command line tools and libraries for free. The Eclipse plugin will cost - but supposedly they're playing around with new tiered pricing strategies to get more developer interest.Frankly, Java is dead on the client as far as I'm concerned and AJAX has known limitations. I see the only competitor to XAML being Flash in the real RIA space. Maybe Adobe saw that too in their acquisition of Macromedia.

    The advantage AJAX has is that it already has a large number of communities . Flash may have the technical advantage -- but I see that being eroded in not so distant future. Adobe does a very good job of attracting a niche of developers/graphics experts who are die-hard fans and their appeal is only limited to that community.

    There are just too many viable choices in AJAX and my problem is with the JavaScript. I cannot imagine writing a large desktop application UI in JavaScript.

    Ideal situation for me would have ( I am talking about primarily desktop applications / fat clients/ RIA ) :

    a) UI Widgets perhaps with DHTML+ CSS+ some elementary JavaScript :
    b) state management and processing logic in Java/C#/Python etc. but , unlike a webapp, this has to be primarily on the same desktop application , only using xhttp calls sparingly.
    c) something that makes this Cross Platform and easy to distribute. I wouldn't mind if this were to run inside the browser.
    d) small footprint on desktop

    Any takers ?
  24. Flash may have the technical advantage -- but I see that being eroded in not so distant future.

    I'm curious how you justify this. Flash, like Java, has the advantage of being tightly controlled by Adobe and a Customer Advisory Board, unlike the browsers which evolve very slowly through standards bodies and when MicroSoft decides to add new features to IE outside of the standards. Is it really possible for the browsers to evolve as quickly as Flash? How long was XHR available in most browsers before Ajax caught on? How long will it be before all browsers support things like binary sockets, cross-domain XHR, vector drawing, etc. And how long before 98% of users world wide all have a browser that supports those things? In my mind I just don't see how it's possible for browsers to catch up to what Flash can do. Flash will always evolve faster. It is way ahead now and when Apollo is released the Flash platform will take one more big step beyond what browsers can do.

    -James
  25. The advantage AJAX has is that it already has a large number of communities . Flash may have the technical advantage -- but I see that being eroded in not so distant future.

    Here's where you're wrong. The technical advantages of Flash are not going to erode anytime soon. The next step up for the browser would be SVG, but IE won't have it (if ever), in this decade. At the end of the day you're still stuck with HTML and it's limitations.

    The way I look at AJAX is that it just pushes what is accepted as the standard for what people expect from any kind of web page that has a moderate amount of app-like functionality. And AJAX will just push more developers to look for solutions that stock, cross-platform browser tech can't handle.
    a) UI Widgets perhaps with DHTML+ CSS+ some elementary JavaScript :
    b) state management and processing logic in Java/C#/Python etc. but , unlike a webapp, this has to be primarily on the same desktop application , only using xhttp calls sparingly.
    c) something that makes this Cross Platform and easy to distribute. I wouldn't mind if this were to run inside the browser.
    d) small footprint on desktop

    Any takers?

    The whole point of why the browser is so attractive is because you don't have to rely on any other runtime being present on the client. But if you don't mind distributing something (point (c) and as in a traditional installer), well then your options are wide open.
  26. How about ICEfaces?[ Go to top ]

    ...I cannot imagine writing a large desktop application UI in JavaScript. Ideal situation for me would have ( I am talking about primarily desktop applications / fat clients/ RIA ) :a) UI Widgets perhaps with DHTML+ CSS+ some elementary JavaScript : b) state management and processing logic in Java/C#/Python etc. but , unlike a webapp, this has to be primarily on the same desktop application , only using xhttp calls sparingly.c) something that makes this Cross Platform and easy to distribute. I wouldn't mind if this were to run inside the browser.d) small footprint on desktopAny takers ?

    How about ICEfaces?

    ICEfaces provides a rich Java JSF component suite used to develop JSF applications that are deployed as a thin-clients to the browser, no plugins required. The beauty is that the application developer just writes standard JSF applications using the JSF component model, in Java (using JSP or Facelets, along very productive IDE tools such as Studio Creator 2). There is no JavaScript authoring required.

    The ICEfaces components provide the rich DHTML and Ajax-based application UI while insulating the developer from the productivity-reducing complexities of hand-coding Ajax and JavaScript based content.

    Here's the product info and demo pages, check it out:
    http://www.icesoft.com/products/icefaces.html
    http://www.icesoft.com/products/demos_icefaces.html

    The current release is Alpha 0.3, with a Beta release planned for late March. There will be a Community Edition available that is completely free for development and distribution, and a commercial variant that adds high-volume scalability features, commercial support, etc.

    Regards,
      Ken
  27. How about ICEfaces?[ Go to top ]

    I agree. How awesome would it be if ZK components were JSF components - standard api, easily pluggable, etc?

    Mike
  28. This is a sad state of affairs !!

    I agree! about 8 years ago the best web development choice for dynamic sites was CGI. Even though, you'd have to be crazy to develop a site like that now, you still see them out there.

    I figure we'll be saying the same thing about ajax technologies. Currently, they are really hacks to provide the UI that users are begging for. ajax style UI is awesome and is here to stay, what we are missing is a simplified process / framework or toolset to implement it.
  29. Noone is begging for Ajax.
    And Ajax is a crap attempt to give users what they already have and used to - desktop apps.
    It is all temporary untill one of the major players comes up with ubiquitous platform for developing standart desktop apps, that are automatically deliverable online.

    I'm talking about ClickOnce and WebStart
  30. Noone is begging for Ajax.And Ajax is a crap attempt to give users what they already have and used to - desktop apps.It is all temporary untill one of the major players comes up with ubiquitous platform for developing standart desktop apps, that are automatically deliverable online.I'm talking about ClickOnce and WebStart

    Smalltalk and VisualWorks browser plugin. Wonderful stuff.
  31. ajax style UI is awesome and is here to stay, what we are missing is a simplified process / framework or toolset to implement it.

    I completely agree . The Ajax GUI is pretty good. Ite really letys the HTML& CSS developers get creative without being bound by VC++ or Swing/ GTK type of pragramming expertise.

    Problem is Javascript : It is ok for small stuff but can you trust it enterise application UIs? What about memory leaks ? It is also pretty slow -- take any javascript tree -- add about 5000 nodes and see how long that takes to render.
  32. Current desktop UI development choices :
    a) XUL and XUL Runner are too Mozilla specific and too closely tied to Mozilla/Firefox.status: new-born
    2) Swing/SWT -- I just do not have the patience to deal with this. And the UI designers hate it with equal passionstatus: DOA
    3) Flash -- most sensible people disable it on their browser.status: useless for most developers
    4) Other AJAX aspirants : &nbsp;status : doomed by JavaScript
    This is a sad state of affairs !!

    Adobe's new Flex product promises to offer RIA
    http://www.macromedia.com/software/flex/

    If you don't want to run an app server or want a small free alternative there is Plocit from http://www.herculeez.com/products/plocit
  33. NextApp's Echo2 framework is open-source software distributed under the terms of the Mozilla Public License (or, if preferred, the GNU LGPL License).

    It looks like Swing, you write in pure Java, no JavaScript/HTML as long as you dont want to build some specific controls.

    You may also use EchoStudio (Eclipse plugin) if you want to build GUI using mouse (looks similar to Eclipse VisualEditor Project).

    I think Echo2 is really good. I have build one application in Echo and then ported it to Echo2 and it is really some kind of an alternative for everything you are talking about in this topic.

    Last but not least: Echo2 has its growing community and you would propably never be left alone with your problem.
  34. ZK is good for me[ Go to top ]

    Echo2 maybe good, but I like ZK!
    I am doing a project with ZK. They response the questions in hours (sometime in minutes). I am happy with that.
  35. Competition is good, isn't it?
  36. I have been an ardent supporter for Ajax technology. It can be very useful for websites where data loaded at a time is quite huge and we can break it up into smaller groups which can interact with Server independently and asynchronously. One of the prime example for this could be Enterprise Portals.

    But now a days we have so many Ajax Frameworks being developed, some of them wants to totally eliminate javascript usage. I don’t know how far these frameworks will really ease the implementation of Ajax. I have implemented Ajax in few of our projects, and thankfully there were not many Frameworks available at the time. If there had been so many framework available, I would have never understood that how easily I can achieve the task I wanted by just using Asynchronous requests through Javascript. The framework adds to the learning curve, and unless some standardization is achieved one should thing twice before using these Frameworks.

    Some frameworks have very good functionalities relating to higher user experience or good GUI like Drag and Drop, move around components etc. Using some library functions and Api’s provided by such frameworks can ease the developer task, but it should be seen as a supplement to javascript rather then completely replacing javascripts. Plus I don’t thing Ajax should be seen as tool for developing Flashy websites (this can be seen as added advantage). I guess the soul of Ajax is its high user interactivity with the Server and should be used for the same. For Flashy stuff there are other things like Flash (and ya, macromedia is coming up with its own version of Ajax though, have to wait and watch for its reponse-;)).

    The other issue is how well these Frameworks are adapted for new technologies? Can they be used in Enterprise Portals where each portlet window can have same Ajax implementation frameworks and hence clashes of names, actionURL etc could be possible. Plus in portals the response is not send to the portlet at all. Can the framework adapt to such changes?

    In my view if someone just wants to use Ajax for faster user interactivity, one should directly use Javascript and follow some good structure instead trying to modify and learn new Ajax frameworks.

    Regards
    Vikramark
    http://portlets-jsr168.blogspot.com

    View:- http://portlets-jsr168.blogspot.com/2006/03/are-we-over-emphasizing-ajax.html